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Chelanga Wins Two Conference Honors

April 29, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Sam Chelanga will attempt to run his second fast race in as many weeks, Saturday night at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in Stanford, Calif.

Sam Chelanga will attempt to run his second fast race in as many weeks, Saturday night at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in Stanford, Calif.

Liberty redshirt sophomore Sam Chelanga, the new NCAA 10K record holder, captured a pair of conference weekly awards today. He has been named the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Week and the ECAC Division I Men's Track Athlete of the Week.

Chelanga (Nairobi, Kenya) clocked 27:28.48 on April 24 at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational in Berkeley, Calif., shaving five seconds off the all-time 10,000-meter collegiate record, formerly held by Oregon standout Galen Rupp. He also won the race, defeating five Olympians while running the fastest time in the world so far in 2009.

Chelanga, who automatically qualified for the 10,000-meter final at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, tops the NCAA national performance list by 56 seconds. He trimmed nearly a full minute off of the Liberty and Big South 10K standard, which was previously owned by Chelanga's former teammate and current graduate assistant coach, Josh McDougal.

Chelanga has now won six Big South weekly honors (Sept. 10, Oct. 8, Oct. 22, Feb. 18, March 25 & April 29) during the current academic year, as well as a quartet of ECAC weekly accolades (Oct. 8, Oct. 22, Feb. 18 & April 29).

Chelanga will return to the West Coast this Saturday, for the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. He is slated to run the 5K at Stanford's Cobb Track, against another talented field of competitors. The gun is tentatively scheduled to go off at 11:52 p.m. Eastern for Chelanga's heat.